Roundup: Chester Race week returns, Pictou noise concerns rumble on, Emergency Health Services hiring more drivers, COVID spread continues worldwide

Bret Himmelman. Photo: Sandy Yonley

Plus: After winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games, paddler Bret Himmelman sets his sights on the Olympics

Hammonds Plains paddler Bret Himmelman has long aimed to represent Canada at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and he’s a stroke closer to that dream after a strong performance at the Commonwealth Games. Himmelman and partner Greg Spence were the only Canadian men to win a paddling medal at the Birmingham, U.K. event, claiming bronze in the 1,000-metre race.

It’s a remarkable ascent for Himmelman, who didn’t discover the sport until age 15, a time when most aspiring elite athletes are well into their training.

“Other people were trying to qualify for the nationals,” he recalls. “I was just learning how to go straight and not hit things … I ended up hitting a tree that was fallen over in the lake.”

He tells Janet Whitman about it in this Unravel Halifax story, originally published in January.

Jonathan (left) and Ted Mussett. Photo: Submitted

Chester Race week returns
Nova Scotia’s most popular annual sailing event, Chester Race Week, kicked off yesterday and continues through Aug. 13.

While many of the sailors compete regularly, there are also several newbies, including 69-year-old Ted Mussett of Halifax, whose crew aboard the Blue Jay will include his son Jonathan.

“I want to start, finish, and not embarrass myself,” Ted says. “We’re going to go out and try to win. We don’t have a lot of experience, but the boat is in good shape, we have new sails, new riggings, and we’re ready to go.”

Read more in LighthouseNow.

Pictou noise complaints rumble on
Pictonians who filed a petition 10 months ago about the ongoing noise from the Grohmann Knives factory are crying foul after town council discussed the issue on Aug. 2, without giving them a chance to weigh in.

“The town is clearly trying to shut down this issue,” says resident John Blackwell, who moved two doors down from the iconic Water Street knife shop in 2021.

The update from chief administrative officer Kyle Slaunwhite “was presented as one of numerous topics under ‘Staff Updates’ on town issues and activities,” Mayor Jim Ryan says in an email. “It is not normal procedure to detail each item to be covered in a ‘Staff Update’ on town agendas.”

Janet Whitman reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Michelle Thompson. Photo: Submitted

Emergency Health Services hiring more drivers
In an effort to reduce ambulance wait times, the provincial government recently announced plans to hire 100 drivers to handle routine patient transfers.

“We recognize the pressure the Emergency Health Services system is under and how this impacts patients, paramedics, and the delivery of emergency care,” says health minister Michelle Thompson. “Reducing our reliance on ambulances to transport non-critical or non-urgent patients … will mean more ambulances will be available to respond to emergencies.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for the Reporter.

COVID spread continues worldwide
World Health Organization officials report 866,8283 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,418,958 people, including 42,901 in Canada and 468 Nova Scotians.

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